Theatrical: ‘The Ridleys’ at the Peacock

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I love the theatre – there is something magical about waiting in the dark for a show to begin. A live performance is so much more immediate and wrenching than watching something on a screen. The joy generated by a good show and performance is electric. Having dabbled in the dark theatrical arts myself – as a performer, writer, director, stage manager; lighting technician and sound technician (when you work in no budget theatre, necessity requires versatility) – I can appreciate the effort that goes into getting a play from an idea in a writer’s head to the closing night. It can be gruelling (not in the same manner as working on a chain gang might be, granted, but tiring nonetheless). I attend a show, wanting to like it – mentally willing the actors to give an impressive performances. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Ridleys’ at the Peacock

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The twisted deviance of an ungodly sodomite

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When I started writing this blog three years ago, I made a promise to myself to remain discreet when it came to identifying myself or anyone I know – Facebook friends notwithstanding as I am quite choosy about those. For the most part I think I have been successful at this. Names of my friends or family are never used on articles. Personal situations where I can be identified are not described. I had been online long enough to know that the internet is a place of refuge for the unhinged, as well as the hinged. Deranged ideas and opinions can flourish unchecked on the web. Discretion I decided would be the wisest choice. I didn’t want fruit loops on the interwebs taking agin me. Today I received confirmation that this was a wise strategy. Continue reading The twisted deviance of an ungodly sodomite

Wallow in the squalour

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Every year my employer bestows a Christmas voucher on all its staff, that is redeemable for a turkey and ham in a purveyor of fine meats’ (otherwise known as a butcher’s shop). Since my return to Ireland I have travelled each year to Limerick with a suitcase laden with Dublin meat. Such are the dimensions of the produce, I get the skeleton removed from the turkey at the shop, to make it more convenient to carry. I also get the enormous ham divided in two. Half travels with me to vibrant, sexy Limerick, where the non-vegetarian clan members can avail of its meaty goodness. The other half goes into the freezer in Dublin for use later in the year. Continue reading Wallow in the squalour

A home invasion of the winged variety

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The plan for today was to write a short story. The submission deadline was midnight tomorrow. I realise that this takes leaving things to the last minute to a whole new level, but there was little I could do about that now. I had the story semi-plotted when I decided to check the submission guidelines one more time. To my joy, I saw that the date had been pushed out by two weeks. This meant I could have a day off. If I was more disciplined I would have written anyway. I had another scheme in mind however. I was going on an excursion. Continue reading A home invasion of the winged variety

Gravespotting

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After the strenuous Christmas festivities, I decided to have a cultural day before heading back to the Big Smog. My plan was simple – to visit the Jewish Cemetery of Limerick. I had heard about this place’s existence. I knew that it was located close to the University of Limerick. The precise location was a mystery to me. During my ill spent university days, I had never sought it out. Now, almost quarter of a century later it was time. Continue reading Gravespotting

Into the West – an executive from Shannon

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Being a high powered executive type I have the ability to work from home when I feel like I need a break from the hustle and bustle of my cut-throat corporate career (I am a busy typist in the industrial wastelands of county Dublin). When at home one must work the same hours and attend to all the same duties as when in the office; do the same phone calls; fill in the same mind-numbing spreadsheets. So it’s not like you can doss off completely. You can however do a daytime wash-load in the machine; or use your lunchbreak to have a little trip to the opticians. Or get major dental work in Poland over the course of a week, but not consume those days entirely as holidays. Continue reading Into the West – an executive from Shannon

Welcome to Roscommon

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Last Tuesday, December 11th, at a farm outside Strokestown, County Roscommon, a private security firm allegedly staffed by loyalist paramilitaries from Northern Ireland, who were working on behalf of KBC bank’s vulture fund, evicted a family. The two brothers and sister living there, were in their fifties and sixties. The farm had been in the family for three generations. Apparently the family were in debt to the bank to the tune of €400,000 (half of which was penalties for late payment), and efforts to negotiate repayment with KBC Bank were unsuccessful. KBC Bank had sold the mortgage to the vulture fund Cabot Asset Purchases (Ireland). Accompanied by the police force of the Republic of Ireland – An Garda Siochana – the security firm blocked two access roads to the farm, and violently assaulted several people while carrying out the eviction, a fortnight before Christmas. The gardai who accompanied the security firm did not stop the assault since it  happened on private property. The identity of the security guards is unconfirmed – but clearly known to the police. Continue reading Welcome to Roscommon

The mystery of David Lochary

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Yesterday afternoon I attended a screening of the John Waters film ‘Polyester’ in the New Theatre in Dublin. Starring the ‘Godzilla of drag’ Divine, this 1981 film marks the bridge between Waters’ earlier thrashy exploitation films (‘Multiple Maniacs’; ‘Pink Flamingos’; ‘Female Trouble’) and his more mainstream work (‘Hairspray’; ‘Cry-Baby’; ‘Serial Mom’). In Polyester, Divine plays an obese, suburban housewife named Francine Fishpaw, whose husband runs a dirty-movie theatre; her son is a sex-offending foot-fetishist; and her daughter wants to drop out of school to become a go-go dancer. When her husband leaves her for his secretary, Francine becomes an alcoholic. Hope finally appears on the horizon in the form of the hunky Todd Tomorow (played by former matinee idol Tab Hunter). All is not what it seems though. Continue reading The mystery of David Lochary

Theatrical: ‘Iphigenia in Splott’

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In ancient Greek mythology, Iphigenia was the daughter of King Agememnon and Queen Clytemnestra, who was sacrificed to the gods to for a wind change which would allow the king to invade Troy. In the play ‘Ipghigenia in Splott’ in Smock Alley Theatre, Ipghgenia (Effie) is a hard boiled young woman in a hoodie, who terrorises her neighbours as she prowls the street of her estate. Hard drinking, tough-as-nails, she knows what people think of her. But she doesn’t care. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘Iphigenia in Splott’